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Indicted Bosnian Serb Military Commander Spotted Skiing Near Sarajevo

March 10, 1996

PALE, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander, skied the slopes above Sarajevo over the weekend, managing to avoid arrest on war crimes charges.

Tanned and looking relaxed, Mladic joined Bosnian Serb national guard cadets training on Saturday on Mount Jahorina, a popular ski area before the war. It was the first time in months that Mladic, indicted by an international war crimes tribunal, has been seen in public.

``It’s a nice day today,″ Mladic told local TV journalists. ``We have some more snow falling today, which is just great.″

Peacekeepers are authorized to arrest Mladic and Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, who also has been indicted on war crimes charges, if they come across them. But they have no mandate to track them down.

Mladic has warned that he will resist arrest, and has said he has wide support among Bosnian Serbs, who will protect him.

On Saturday, Mladic, an accomplished skier, said he had taken the weekend off for some relaxation.

``The tracks are very demanding, but very pleasant,″ Mladic said. Mount Jahorina rises above Sarajevo and the Serbs’ war capital of Pale to the southeast.

From the mountains surrounding Sarajevo, Bosnian Serb forces bombarded the capital during nearly four years of siege, at times personally supervised by Mladic.

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